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The Experience of Participation in Suicide Research From the Perspective of Individuals With Bipolar Disorder

Owen, Rebecca MSc; Gooding, Patricia PhD; Dempsey, Robert PhD; Jones, Steven PhD, ClinPsyD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 11 - p 840–844
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000487
Original Articles

Reasons underlying the elevated prevalence of suicide in bipolar disorder remain underresearched and poorly understood. Participation in suicide-focused research may pose a risk to vulnerable groups, such as those with bipolar disorder. Participants were asked to provide feedback about their experience of participating in a suicide-focused qualitative research interview. The data set was analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Qualitative themes were (1) talking about suicide was not distressing, (2) negative interview expectations, (3) personal benefits, (4) value of suicide research, (5) interview advice, and (6) talking about suicide was difficult. Suicide-focused research can be conducted with minimal participant distress. Sufficient procedures must be in place, both to identify those at risk of experiencing distress and to efficiently deal with any distress that might occur.

*School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester; †Centre for Health Psychology & Centre for Psychological Research School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise, Faculty of Health Sciences, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent; and ‡Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Division of Health Research, School of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster, Lancashire, United Kingdom.

Send reprint requests to Rebecca Owen, MSc, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Coupland Bldg, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. E-mail:

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